Blog

Staying Strong, Fit and Independent in 2017

January 30, 2017

Contributed by Carole Clausen, Fellowship Senior Living Personal Trainer

Adults over age 65 can greatly benefit from making healthy resolutions; especially those that help prevent illness and injury.  Carole Clausen, personal trainer for the Rehab and Wellness program at Fellowship Village, offers these tips for making healthy lifestyles changes:

Participate in cognitive health activities.  As we age, it’s important to keep our mind engaged and stimulated with mind boosting activities.  This year, try joining a book club, schedule fun game nights with family and friends, or simply do a daily crossword puzzle.  Take time and make an effort to learn and try new things.

Exercise or start a new physical activity.  Exercise needn’t be exhausting or feel like work.  Seek out strength and balance training in classes geared toward older adults like Tai Chi, water aerobics, chair exercises and other forms of group exercise.  Start a walking regimen in your neighborhood or at the local mall.  When watching television, get up and move during every commercial break.  Even small actions can be beneficial. 

Eat a healthier diet.  Eating well is just as important as exercising.  While processed foods are easy to throw together for a meal, they come with a host of health issues and concerns.  Vow to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.  You’ll soon see a noticeable difference in how you look and feel.

Make your home safer.  Take some time to assess your home objectively.  Is the lighting adequate?  Do you have throw rugs that are tripping hazards?  Are outside steps in good repair?  Is it time to install grab bars in the bathrooms?  If you’re not sure, contact a professional service provider to evaluate your home and recommend changes to make it safe.

Seek professional support.   The Rehab and Wellness team at Fellowship Village develops activities and services for older adults who seek fitness and well-being.  Our experts guide seniors to fulfill their potential through individually tailored programs that are available to Fellowship Village residents and the general public. 

 

Navigate Your Next Move With These Home Selling Tips

January 27, 2017

Mary Meier, Fellowship Senior Living

Selling a cherished home and moving to a new location can be one of life's most stressful transitions. It's often a stumbling block for seniors who are planning the next chapter of their lives. However, a few tips and the right resources can minmize stress and help your move go more smoothly. 

  • Find an experienced real estate agent.
    Interview up to three agents from companies that focus on your neighborhood.
    Review each agent's selling strategy. Online marketing with photos is essential.
    Understand the agent's contract before signing.
  • Get real about pricing.
    Ask your agent for the sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood.
    Be realistic about your home's value.
    Trust your agent's opinion.
  • Understand the competition.
    Visit local open houses and do a "real estate reality check."
    Remember, buyers who look at your home will look at others in your neighborhood.
  • Prepare your home.
    Consider a home inspection to avoid surprises later.
    Make as many repairs as possible. If in doubt, consult your agent.
    De-personalize your home. Remove family photos, religious decor, etc.
    Remove heavy drapes and valances; replace with light curtains.
    Wash windows inside and outside.
    Replace low wattage light bulbs with brighter bulbs.
    Fresh paint in neutral colors appeals to buyers.
    If practical, remove carpeting to show off hardwood floors.
    Remove excess furniture and up to half the contents of bookshelves and closets.
  • Don't ignore your home's exterior. First impressions count.
    Clean up the yard and landscaping.
    Freshly painted railings, front door and porches will stand out.
    If needed, replace exterior light fixtures.
    Create a well-lit and welcoming entrance.
  • Be available for selling agents.
    Access to your home is critical. Beware of limiting your availability.
    Keep your home neat and presentable at all times.

As you prepare your home for sale, don't hesitate to call on other professionals who can help. Your real estate agent may have useful recommendations for service providers.

A great "one-stop" option is consulting with a senior relocation service. These experts can help with numerous tasks related to your move, such as decluttering, discarding or donating unwanted belongings, packing, coordinating an estate sale, unpacking, helping with furniture placement in your new location, and so much more.

When you choose Fellowship Village as your next home, our senior living counselors will be ready and waiting with tips and resources to help you navigate your way to a new life.  Don't let fear about "making the move" keep you from moving forward.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Seniors

January 16, 2017

Mary Meier, Director of Public Relations and Patty Thaute, Massage Therapist, Fellowship Sernior Living

Enjoying a relaxing massage is not just an indulgence; massage offers numerous health benefits for people of all ages. It can decrease muscular stiffness, inflamation in the joints, and increase circulation. 

There are added benefits for other conditions we face as we age. Regular massage can improve one's quality of life and help seniors feel healthier overall.

Over time, regular massage therapy can be beneficial for seniors by:

  • Reducing arthritis pain and stiffness, and improving physical function
  • Alleviating or reducing depression with comforting touch
  • Keeping muscles, connective tissue, tendons, joints and ligaments more fluid; resulting in improved flexibility and less inuries
  • Promoting better quality of sleep, physical and mental relaxation
  • Reducing the wandering, pacing and resisting expressions of Alzheimer's patients

Massage therapy, plus the following beneficial services are offerd by Fellowship Senior Living through its Rehabilitation and Wellness Department:

Reflexology-There are close to 7,000 nerve endings in our feet.  Reflexology, or accupressure on the feet, stimulates these nerves and the central nervous system, and can alter the way you feel pain.

Jin Shin Jyutsu-This is a form of acupressure designed to balance the energy in your body. The therapist finds the pressure ponts on your body that will unblock the flow of energy, resulting in pain relief.

Cranialsacral Therapy-This practice uses very light touching to balance the cranialsacral system in the body, which includes bones, nerves, fluids and connective tissues of the cranium and spinal area.  It can be very effective in relieving headaches, and neck and back pain.

Contact Rehab and Wellness at 908-580-3880 for more information.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November 13, 2016

Contributed by Carole Clausen, Personal Trainer, Fellowship Senior Living

As people age, their risk for Type 2 diabetes increases, and those who already have the disease may find that adjustments are required in how it is managed. Regular physical activity is a key part of managing diabetes along with proper meal planning, taking medications as prescribed, and stress management.

The American Diabetes Association recommends two types of physical activity that are important for managing diabetes: aerobic exercise and strength training.  Aerobic exercise helps your body use insulin better.  It makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, and reduces your risk for heart disease by lowering blood glucose levels, lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.

Strength training (also called resistance training) makes your body more sensitive to insulin. It also helps to maintain and build strong muscles and bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.  Before you begin a new physical activity program, speak with your doctor to determine the best target range for your blood glucose levels.

Correctly managing your diabetes over the long term can help you avoid or delay complications and ensure that you live a long, happy and active life.

The Benefits of Swimming and Water Exercise for Older Adults

July 11, 2016

Many of us find a dip in the pool to be a relaxing way to spend some time. But did you know the many health benefits related to exercising in the water? For older adults and those with physical challenges, a water fitness routine offers a safe and low impact alternative to land exercise.

Swimming is easier on the joints than going for a jog or running on a treadmill.  And because water is about twelve times denser than air, your muscles will be busy working with every move. You're also less likely to become overheated, fall, or suffer other exercise related injuries in water.

Studies are now showing numerous health benefits from a routine schedule of recreational swimming, water walking and other aqua exercise; such as a reduction in blood pressure, increased oxygen distribution through the body, and decreased body fat.  Water exercise can also increase bone density, improve balance and overall strength.

The indoor heated pool at Fellowship Village offers residents a convenient spot for recreational swimming and water exercise. Residents can be found swimming laps every morning, and the pool is full at the water aerobics classes held four days a week. 

In 2014 the Rehab and Wellness team at Fellowship Village introduced Ai Chi classes for interested residents. Created by former Olympic swim coach Jun Konno and combining Tai Chi concepts with Shiatsu and QiGong techniques, Ai Chi poses are performed in warm shoulder depth water. Unlike more vigorous water aerobic exercises, the postures of Ai Chi are meditative, slow and broad.  This thermal workout fosters range of motion while challenging balance and facilitating core strength and stability. Some participants wear five pound ankle weights to counteract the natural bouyancy of the water and help control their movements.

Prior to the first session, residents' flexibility strength, aerobic capacity and agility were evaluated. According to Dr. Patricia Deotte, Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness at Fellowship Village, residents showed improvement when tested again at the end of the program.

Our Rehab and Wellness team also uses the warm water spa portion of the pool for one-on-one physical therapy sessions.

The pool at Fellowship Village is one of many campus amenities that promote good health and an active lifestyle.  Call Rehab and Wellness at 908-580-3880 to learn more and see our pool on Facebook.

When Aging Loved Ones Need Help - Identifying the Signs

June 29, 2016

Elderly adults are often reluctant to confide in family members regarding their needs and concerns.  Understandably so - don’t we all want to remain in control of our own decision making and independence for as long as possible?  As a result, many aging adults fail to ask for the help that will make their lives more comfortable and safe.  Here are some warning signs to help you determine if intervention is necessary.

Depression-Aging adults who feel isolated, helpless, and listless may suffer from depression, causing changes in daily routines and behavior.  Companionship, more socialization outside the home and stimulating activities may help.

Personal hygiene-A loved one who is unusually unkempt, unwashed and wearing soiled clothing may have difficulty bathing and doing laundry.  Your elder may be neglecting personal hygiene due to depression or fear of falling while bathing or accessing a basement laundry room.

Condition of the home-An unusually cluttered, dirty, and unmaintained home, with unpaid bills and paperwork piling up indicates that your loved one can no longer manage household tasks and repairs This is especially worrisome if your loved one was always neat and orderly.

Poor nutrition and food preparation-Observe the contents of the refrigerator and pantry.  Inadequate food supplies, spoiled and outdated food, and scorching on the bottom of pots and pans all indicate that food shopping and preparation is difficult. Your loved one may be eating just enough to subsist but suffering nutritionally.  Weight loss is another sign of a poor diet.

Missed appointments-Missed appointments may indicate that your loved one isn’t willing to face health problems, may be suffering from memory loss, or is unable to access transportation.

Memory loss and confusion-Forgetting to take medication, inappropriate dress, behavior or speech, repeated phone calls, and missed appointments may be indicators that it’s time for an assessment of your loved one’s condition and needs.

Identifying these warning signs doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one must leave home and move to a senior living community, although that may be the best choice for some. Understanding available services and making the right decision to meet your family’s unique needs is important. 

Fellowship Senior Living offers a number of options for aging adults who need assistance, including care at home through the Fellowship Helping Hands program or Assisted Living, Memory Care, or Skilled Nursing at Fellowship Village. An experienced and trusted provider will give you peace of mind and help you find the best comfort and care for your loved one.

Ten Steps to Control Type 2 Diabetes

June 16, 2016

If you have type 2 diabetes you're probably wondering what to eat to keep your blood sugar levels in check.  The good news is that you may not have to give up your favorite foods. A diabetic diet, like most healthy diets, is about controlling portions and consuming a wide variety of vegetabes, fruits, nuts, seed, lean protein, low fat dairy products and healthy fats.

Remember that all foods are not created equal.  The following suggestions can help guide you in making the best choices.

  1. Consume a consistant amount of carbohydrates for meals and snacks.  Carbohydrates include grains (bread, pasta, rice), milk (yogurt), fruits, and starchy vegtables (corn, potatoes).  Studies show that consuming whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables help your body avoid spikes in blood sugar that can lead to health complications.
  2. Once you've learned to balance your carbs, try balancing meals with lean protein and healthy unsaturated fats, which digest slowly and help keep your blood sugar steady after a meal.  Fats should comprise 25% to 35% of your daily caloric intake.
  3. A healthy plate is nine inches in diameter and consists of one half non-starchy vegetables in a variety of colors; one quarter lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, pork or beans; and one quarter starch such as whole grain bread, rice, pasta, or starchy vegetables.
  4. Include a lean protein source whenever you snack in order to help regulate blood sugar.  Some great options that are high in protein and healthy fats include cottage cheese, nuts, seeds and one tablesoon of nut butter.
  5. In order to efficiently monitor diabetes, it's important to test your blood sugar at different times during the day.  Your blood sugars are changing every second so it is vital to monitor trends before and after meals.  Ask your doctor or Registered dietician for a testing schedule based upon the amount of strips you are prescribed.
  6. Skipping breakfast can cause irregular blood sugar levels that can lead health problems.  Consider breakfast a mandatory part of your daily routine.
  7. When planning meals, be sure to include a healthy fat source to help stabilize your blood sugar and appetite.  Try avocado, nuts, or seeds for some healthy options. If you are trying to lose or maintain your current weight, you should only consume a small portion of these healthy fats.
  8. Replacing snacks made with refined sugar or simple carbohydrates with plant- based choices promotes maintenance of weight and good blood sugar control.  Try air-popped popcorn or an apple.

Hiring The Best Help at Home - Agencies vs. Independent Care Providers

May 24, 2016

When your loved one needs help to remain safely and comfortably at home, finding the right care provider can be a daunting task. Many people feel uncomfortable with the prospect of having a stranger care for a loved one. Plus, seeking the right caregiver can feel so overwhelming that many choose to continue without help. However, it needn’t be difficult when you know where to start. There are two options when seeking a caregiver; hire an independent provider on your own, or work with a home care agency.

At first glance, it may seem more affordable to hire an independent individual. This is especially true when you’ve heard rave reviews from acquaintances about a particular caregiver. But keep in mind that there are factors you should be aware of when considering an independent provider.

When hiring privately, you are the caregiver’s employer, with the responsibility of tracking payroll taxes and providing insurance to protect yourself, your loved one and the caregiver in the event of a mishap in the home. As the employer, you should create a clear a job description and employment agreement to clarify expectations. It’s also recommended that the caregiver has undergone a criminal background check and it’s important to verify that he/she is legally entitled to work in the United States. You should also ascertain that the independent caregiver has met state requirements to provide “hands-on” care.  

On the other hand, an accredited home care agency relieves you of administrative and employment related tasks so that you can focus on your loved one’s needs. Agencies assume responsibility for all caregiver matters including payroll, taxes, benefits, scheduling, training, and supervision.   A home care agency can also assure that breaks in service are minimized when the assigned caregiver is unavailable.

Fellowship Senior Living created the Fellowship Helping Hands program to relieve families of the burden of supervising care providers while attending to their own busy lives and seeing that their loved ones’ needs are met. Fellowship Helping Hands’ bonded and insured Certified Home Health Aides (CHHA’s) and Certified Nurse Aides (CNA’s) undergo rigorous pre-employment screening, and ongoing training once they are employed. Furthermore, every CNA and CHHA is supervised by a Registered Nurse (RN).

Before hiring a private caregiver, carefully consider the liability and employment risks. A home health care agency such as Fellowship Helping Hands offers the benefit of a qualified team of professionals dedicated to providing the best care for your loved one.

For more information, contact Fellowship Helping Hands at 908-580-3885.

Fellowship Village Marks 20 Year Anniversary

May 10, 2016

Part 2 - Building a Community

In twenty years we’ve come a long way. Fellowship Village sprang from a bare dusty red clay landscape and has grown into a scenic and vibrant community in the rolling Somerset Hills.

Hard hats were a common sight in 1998 as construction of the Pool and Shiloh Court homes was underway. By 1999, Phase II of Fellowship Village – the building of the Health Center, the Plant Operations Garage, the Wellness Center (now the Medical Center) and the Greenhouse – was in high gear. The Putting Green was added in 2002, and in 2004 Residents celebrated the grand opening of the Bocce and Shuffleboard courts. The Billiard Room followed in 2005.

In the fall of 2009, state and local government officials attended a press conference at Fellowship Village to commemorate the new 25,000 square foot solar panel installation. That same year, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certified Fellowship Village for outpatient rehabilitation services.

New “Fellowship Village Senior Living” signs at Allen and Martinsville Roads welcomed one and all in 2010, while renovation work began in the residential Dining Rooms, the Community Center Living Room and Private Dining Room. That same year, the Helping Hands program was introduced and Fellowship Village hosted its first Gala and first Nativity and Christmas Tree Lighting.

A new Reading Room adjacent to the Library was dedicated in 2010 in memoriam to Martha C. McCaskie, a Resident who was committed to organizing a full service library in the early days of Fellowship Village.

In the summer of 2011, over 300 guests enjoyed the grand opening of the completely renovated Bistro and Terrace View dining areas, including the brand new Atrium. The addition of a second therapy gym with state of the art equipment and an outdoor therapy park enabled our enthusiastic Rehab and Wellness team to offer enhanced program and services.

The Community Center restrooms were given facelifts in 2013 and a secure Memory Care neighborhood was created in the Heath Center. The Fellowship Senior Living at Home was introduced, offering a comprehensive alternative to long term care insurance for people who choose to remain in their private homes. That same year, a new organization name, Fellowship Senior Living, Inc. reflected the expansion of our mission and services beyond the Fellowship Village campus.

What will the next 20 years bring? The immediate future will see the completion of the court hallway renovations, a long awaited Health Center expansion and a new multi-purpose auditorium. And just as every hometown community evolves through the years, Fellowship Village will continue to adapt and adjust to the needs and interests of current and future Residents.

 

Worried About Your Driving Skills? Consider a Rehabilitation Program

March 18, 2016

As we age, it’s normal for our driving abilities to change.  You may have driven your entire life and taken pride in your safety record, but it’s important to realize that your driving ability can change as you age.  It is also essential to get help if you or others notice a change

Factors that impact driving skills include diminished vision, impaired hearing, and decreased motor reflexes. Many older adults experience a reduction in strength, coordination and flexibility, which can affect your ability to safely control a vehicle.  For example:

  •  Neck pain or stiffness impairs your ability to look left and right, or over your shoulder.
  • Leg pain or cramping makes it difficult to move your foot between brake and gas pedals.

  • Weaker arm strength causes difficulty in steering effectively. 

  • A decrease in your ability to effectively respond to multiple signs, traffic lights, road conditions, and the movements of other vehicles reduces reaction time.

Many older adults can continue to drive safely as they age.  If you are concerned about changes in your abilities, a Driving Rehabilitation program can help identify warning signs, reduce risk and practice safe driving.  We encourage anyone recovering from a debilitating illness, surgery or accident, to consider the program at Fellowship Village. Led by an Occupational Therapist, the Driving Rehabilitation program at Fellowship Village has successfully graduated applicants who did not have to turn in their car keys. 

Call 908-580-3827 for more information about the program.

 

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